December 6, 2021

Eclipse Festival

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The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: The Harder They Fall, Yellowstone Season 4

It’s a yeehaw kind of week. The best shows and movies to watch this week are led by Jeymes Samuel’s stylish cowboy heist movie The Harder They Fall, debuting Wednesday on Netflix, and the mega-hit neo-Western Yellowstone, back for its fourth season Sunday on Paramount Network. If you don’t want to break out your cowboy boots, you’ve got other options, starting on Monday with the British import Dalgliesh. Later in the week, there’s the premiere of Dickinson‘s final season, the Tom Hanks drama Finch, and the Dexter revival New Blood.

Our list of editors’ picks for the week of Nov. 1-7 is below, but if that’s not enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, as well as our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.

THE BEST SHOW TO WATCH TONIGHT

Bertie Carvel and Jeremy Irvine, Dalgliesh

Acorn TV

Dalgliesh

Series premieres Monday on Acorn TV
The British churn out murder mysteries faster than they can produce murder mystery victims, but there’s no shortage of fascinating corpses in Acorn TV’s latest drama, Dalgliesh. Based on the books and set in 1970s England, the titular detective (Bertie Carvel) investigates three murder cases in the six-episode first season (each investigation is a two-parter), including a nurse in training who was poisoned during a training exercise and a homeless man and a former Tory MP who both had their throats slashed. Dalgliesh is, as most British TV detectives are, stoic and observant, and the series isn’t afraid to go through the details as Dalgliesh puts the case together. Unlike most British TV detectives, you needn’t worry about any messy personal life taking the spotlight over the case. It’s a solid, if not extraordinary, British murder mystery to add to your list. [TRAILER | WATCH ON ACORN TV]

THE BEST SHOWS AND MOVIES TO WATCH THIS WEEK

Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Son of Monarchs

Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Son of Monarchs

Son of Monarchs

Tuesday on HBO Max
If you’re in need of a contemplative, philosophical visual treat rather than the wham-bam onslaught of a summer blockbuster, the Mexican film Son of Monarchs is a nice visit. The film festival-winner follows a geneticist who specializes in Monarch butterflies and dips into themes of ecological disaster and migration/immigration, but the real draw here is the kaleidoscope of imagery that alternates between the macro and micro to draw parallels between the butterflies and human existence. [TRAILER]

Lee Sun-Kyun, Dr. Brain

Lee Sun-Kyun, Dr. Brain

Apple TV+

Dr. Brain

Series premiere Wednesday on Apple TV+
No, it’s not the next Squid Game, but if you’ve had Korean thrillers on your mind since the Netflix sensation dominated pop culture, this looks like a great, creepy follow-up. The six-episode series stars Parasite‘s Lee Su-kyun as a specialist in brains who, after his family is involved in a tragic and mysterious accident, figures out a way to see memories of the dead to find out what happened. Yep, he’s hacking brains! [TRAILER]

Regina King, Idris Elba, and LaKeith Stanfield, The Harder They Fall

Regina King, Idris Elba, and LaKeith Stanfield, The Harder They Fall

David Lee/Netflix

The Harder They Fall

Wednesday on Netflix
Sure you’ve heard the plot from hundreds of Westerns before: A cowboy gets a crew together to exact revenge on the persons who killed their loved ones. But have those cowboys (and cowgirls) ever been played by Regina King, Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, Jonathan Majors, Delroy Lindo, and Zazie Beets? The awesome predominantly Black cast is joined by stylish, bloody action from director Jeymes Samuel and producer Jay-Z. Early reviews are positive. [TRAILER]

Isabella Gomez, Head of the Class

Isabella Gomez, Head of the Class

Nicole Wilder/HBO Max

Head of the Class

Thursday on HBO Max
No, this isn’t that multicam sitcom reboot starring Isabella Gomez; it’s a new multicam sitcom reboot starring Isabella Gomez. The One Day at a Time alum stars in HBO Max’s Head of the Class, a reboot of the 1986-1991 ABC sitcom, as a young, unconventional teacher named Alicia Gomez who wants her high-achieving students to focus on more than just grades. Kids these days! Her laid-back approach to teaching doesn’t always make Alicia popular with the parents at the school, including overachiever Darlene Hayward, née Merriman (Robin Givens, reprising her role). Watch it if you miss One Day at a Time — or the original Head of the Class. [TRAILER]

Padma Lakshmi, Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi, Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi

Dominic Valente/Hulu

Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi: Holiday Edition

Thursday on Hulu
Padma Lakshmi’s delicious travel and food docuseries is back with a new four-part special that’s all about the holidays — and because this is Taste the Nation, you know you’re in for a lot more than fruitcake. In the new season, Lakshmi highlights Hanukkah traditions in New York, deconstructs Thanksgiving with the Wampanoag Nation in Massachusetts, enjoys a Cuban Christmas in Miami, and celebrates the Korean New Year in Los Angeles. You’ll come away educated and very, very hungry. [TRAILER | WATCH ON HULU]

Big Mouth

Big Mouth

Netflix

Big Mouth

Season 5 available Friday on Netflix
It’s lovebug season on Big Mouth. The hormonal teens of Bridgeton Middle School are getting some new friends this year as their crushes and broken hearts appear to them as lovebugs and hate worms, creatures that can shift from one form to the other like caterpillars into butterflies — or Bruce Banner into the Hulk, whichever you prefer. Pamela Adlon joins the cast as Jessi’s lovebug, Sonya; Brandon Kyle Goodman voices Nick’s lovebug, Walter; and Keke Palmer is Missy’s hate worm, Rochelle. There’s also a claymation Christmas special, which finally answers the question of what the Hormone Monsters would look like in the world of the Heat Miser. [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Hailee Steinfeld, Dickinson

Hailee Steinfeld, Dickinson

Apple TV+

Dickinson

Season 3 premieres Friday on Apple TV+
If you miss sitting in class debating questions like “Was Emily Dickinson a wartime poet?” but would also like to see Wiz Khalifa play the human embodiment of death, do we have a show for you! Dickinson‘s third and final season picks up in the heat of the Civil War, as Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), her family, and her friends are reevaluating their relationships — and their lives — in a time of national upheaval. Ziwe (also a writer on this season) guest stars as Sojourner Truth; Chloe Fineman appears as Sylvia Plath; and Billy Eichner guests as Walt Whitman. We’ll miss everything about this delirious comedy, but we might miss the cast list the most. [TRAILER | WATCH ON APPLE TV+]

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Amazon Prime Video

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Friday on Amazon Prime Video
Benedict Cumberbatch plays the eccentric late 19th and early 20th century artist Louis Wain, known for his cat portraits, who falls for his sisters’ governess (Claire Foy), in this fanciful biographical drama. Reviews for the film have been polite but rarely glowing — which is to be expected from a film created and directed by the dark and whimsical Will Sharpe (Flowers) — but it’s got Benedict Cumberbatch and cats, so there are a lot of very online people who will certainly love it. Plus, Olivia Colman narrates. [TRAILER | WATCH ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO]

Tom Hanks, Finch

Tom Hanks, Finch

Apple TV+

Finch

Friday on Apple TV+
Wilson, is that you? Tom Hanks gets typecast as another solitary man with an unconventional companion in the post-apocalyptic drama Finch. Hanks plays the titular Finch, an ailing inventor and the last man on Earth, who builds a robot to keep his dog safe after he dies. As the three set out on a journey across the country, Finch teaches the robot (played in motion capture by Caleb Landry Jones) what it means to be alive. Oh boy. Watch out for this one if you’re a weeper. [TRAILER | WATCH ON APPLE TV+]

Arthur Harrison, Attica

Arthur Harrison, Attica

Showtime

Attica

Saturday at 9/8c on Showtime
Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry’s gripping new documentary goes inside the 1971 uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility, exposing the inhuman conditions that led to the prisoners’ revolt and connecting the dots to the racial injustices in America today. It’s a horrifying, bloody, illuminating look at the country’s prison-industrial complex, told through archival footage and interviews with the people who were there. This one will stick with you. [TRAILER]

Kevin Costner and Kelly Reilly, Yellowstone

Kevin Costner and Kelly Reilly, Yellowstone

Paramount Network

Yellowstone

Season 4 premiere Sunday at 8/7c on Paramount Network
Succession with cowboy hats, otherwise known as Yellowstone, is finally back for another season of violence, melodrama, and infighting on the ranch. The explosive Season 3 finale left plenty of characters’ fates in the air; now, it’s time to find out who lives, who dies, and who planted that bomb. New faces this season include Jacki Weaver as a CEO who faces off against John Dutton (Kevin Costner), Piper Perabo as a protestor, and Kathryn Kelly as a vet tech who strikes up a relationship with a new Dutton ranch cowboy. Here’s everything we know about Yellowstone Season 4. [TRAILER]

Michael C. Hall and Alano Miller, Dexter: New Blood

Michael C. Hall and Alano Miller, Dexter: New Blood

Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

Dexter: New Blood

Limited series premiere Sunday at 9/8c on Showtime
The Dark Passenger returns! Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) was the hottest fictional serial killer of the late early 2000s before a divisive (to put it kindly) final season killed fans’ goodwill. He’ll try to earn it back with Showtime’s 10-episode revival, New Blood, which finds Dexter living under a new name in a sleepy New York town. He wears parkas now and everything. Here’s everything we know about Dexter: New Blood, including the surprising original series stars who are reprising their roles. [TRAILER]

RECENTLY RELEASED

Nathalie Emmanuel, Army of Thieves

Nathalie Emmanuel, Army of Thieves

Stanislav Honzik/ Netflix

Army of Thieves

Premiered Friday on Netflix
Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead premiered in May, so in Netflix time we’re already overdue for a prequel. This is that prequel. The heist movie explains how Ludwig Dieger (Matthias Schweighöfer, who also directs) fell into a life of crime, following the safecracker as he’s recruited by a team of experts — an army of thieves, if you will — trying to pull off a heist at the very beginning of a zombie outbreak. Expect way fewer zombies in this one. [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Colin Kaepernick, Colin in Black and White

Colin Kaepernick, Colin in Black and White

Netflix

Colin in Black and White

Season 1 released Friday on Netflix
Colin Kaepernick’s most powerful statement was a silent one. The former NFL quarterback who knelt during the national anthem as a form of protest — and was wrongly blackballed from the league because of it — is no longer silent in his new Netflix series, which he co-created with Ava DuVernay. It’s part autobiography and part social justice docuseries as it bounces back and forth between a dramatization of his life growing up (starring Jaden Michael as a young Colin, with Nick Offerman and Mary-Louise Parker as his parents), metaphorical reenactments of history (comparing an NFL combine to a slave auction will hit you hard), and Kaep talking to the camera about his life and mindset as he attempts to disrupt the owner-athlete power dynamic. At times, it’s a bit cheesy, but as he talks about influences like Allen Iverson, how he was forced to cut his braids because of a team that didn’t exist before, and how hard he worked to be embraced for his culture, it’s always impactful. –Tim Surette [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

Paramount Players

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

Premiered Friday on Paramount+
Paranormal Activity, but make it Amish: What else do we have to say? Ring in Halloween weekend with the first Paranormal Activity movie in six years, the story of a young woman named Margot (Emily Bader) whose search for her biological parents leads her to an Amish community. She brings a friend along to film what she thinks will be a touching journey into her family history. Obviously, what she finds is way creepier. Fans of scary kids with weird dolls, this is one’s for you. [TRAILER | WATCH ON PARAMOUNT+]

Isaiah Hill, Swagger

Isaiah Hill, Swagger

Apple TV+

Swagger

Series premiered Friday on Apple TV+
Why watch one great athlete’s origin story this weekend when you can watch two or three? Inspired by the life of NBA star Kevin Durant, Swagger is a youth basketball story told through the eyes of 14-year-old hoops phenom Jace Carson (Isaiah Hill) and his coach, Ike (O’Shea Jackson Jr.). Like Colin in Black and White, Swagger is direct about the realities of growing up Black in America, and it’s a winning sports drama, too. [TRAILER | WATCH ON APPLE TV+]

Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker, John Bishop, Doctor Who

Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker, John Bishop, Doctor Who

James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC America

Doctor Who

Season 13 premiered Sunday at 8/7c on BBC America
Jodie Whittaker is taking one last trip through time and space for the road. Lucky number Season 13, a six-episode event series officially known as Doctor Who: Flux, marks the beginning of the end of Whittaker’s run as the Thirteenth Doctor, as well as Chris Chibnall’s era as showrunner. (After this season, Whittaker and company will also return for three specials set to air in 2022.) And they’re going out with a bang, which, in the world of Doctor Who, means you can expect plenty of returning monsters — we’re talking Weeping Angels, Cybermen, Sontarans, Ood (!), the works. The Doctor is joined in the TARDIS this season by Mandip Gill’s Yaz and a new character, Dan (John Bishop), because apparently it was too much to ask for there to just be women in the TARDIS just this once. Sorry Dan, I’m sure you’re great. [TRAILER]

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